Text by: Ric Galvez [@the4ofustraveling] / Graphics by Krizza Enriquez [@kxxenriquez]

Who will represent the Philippines at Miss Universe 2022 pageant? Well, this question will be settled about a month or so from now and the roster of contestants vying for that coveted title reveals a curious mix of pageant veterans and fresh faces. That mix is duly reflected in this Hot Picks and interestingly our pageant experts are betting on pageant veterans.

At number 1 is Celeste Cortesi who won the Miss Earth Philippines title in 2018 and placed Top 8 at the Miss Earth 2018. In this Hot Picks, Celeste actually tied with Michelle Dee who, like her, is a pageant veteran. Michelle won the Miss World Philippines 2019 title and placed at the Top 12 of Miss World 2019 contest. It would be interesting to see the two competing each other in the same pageant. Bear in mind that Miss Earth is totally different from Miss World. Above all, Miss Universe Philippines has a different perspective. At its inaugural pageant, the organization chose a newbie over the formidable veterans.

Among the newbies, our pageant experts tagged Isabel Luche as the frontrunner. If her name sounds familiar, that’s because she may have appeared in your TikTok feed. Her classic Filipina beauty is a head turner but how she will perform as the pressure of the competition mounts remains to be seen.

Joining the group of highly seasoned beauty queens is Pauline Amelinckx. She was third runner-up back in 2020 and has also won a title at Mutya ng Pilipinas. Her vast experience and her participation at Miss Universe Philippines 2020 could allow her to recalibrate her approach. We are keeping a close eye on her as she could easily triumph this time around.

Completing the Top 5 is another veteran who represented the Philippines at Reina Hispanoamericana pageant. She’s Ma. Katrina Llegado and she will be representing Taguig. She finished 5th runner-up at the international tilt providing her both the experience and confidence.

Also making it in this Hot Picks are:

6. Palawan – Angelica Lopez

7. Baguio – Genesis Latugat

8. Aklan – Jona Sweett

9. Isabela – Zeneth Joy Khan

10. Las Piñas – Isabelle Kristine Braza

11. Cebu City – Chantal Elise Legaspi Schmidt

12. Iloilo City – Dorothy Marie Gemillan

13. Lucena City – Anjeanette Japor

14. Albay – Julia Eugenie Augustias Saubier

15. Bulacan Province – Nyca Mae Bernardo